Walter Palmer won't be charged for killing Cecil lion

American dentist who killed Cecil lion will not face charges, authorities say he had legal authority to hunt animal

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Dentist Walter Palmer

Cecil the lion. (Reuters)

American dentist Walter Palmer, who killed a Zimbabwean lion named Cecil, will not be charged with any crimes in Zimbabwe because he had acquired legal authority to hunt, according to a report released on Monday morning.

Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said that Palmer's hunting papers were in order, and therefore he could not be charged.

"We approached the police and then the Prosecutor General, and it turned out that [Walter] Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order."

Muchinguri-Kashiri also said that Palmer would be free to visit Zimbabwe, but only as a tourist, rather than a hunter.

After Palmer’s name was reported by the press, his dental practice was met with a group of protestors in early September, which resulted in him taking a break from his practice. Following the two-month-long wait, he recently started work again.

Dr Palmer, 55, paid £40,000 to hunt the lion in Zimbabwe's largest game reserve. 

"If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study obviously I wouldn't have taken it," Mr Palmer told media sources.

"Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion" he added.

Two others are still facing charges related to Cecil's killing.

TRTWorld and agencies